Only 3,962 miles to go. Or, I can now say 3/4 of the way there since I just received my Portuguese residence visa! On January 23rd I left Southern California and took a 6 day car ride to Charleston, South Carolina. The reason for the car ride was that, presumably, I was going to ship my car to Portugal. I thought I had thought about it enough prior to and had done my due diligence with whether it would be worth shipping my car over. I don’t know how to drive manual, cars are expensive in Europe, I wouldn’t have to pay import tax since there’s an exception for those moving over, etc. Perhaps the 6 day car ride and 38 hours of driving changed my mind. There’s a lot of time to think when you are by yourself in a car for that long. I’m glad for the experience of driving across the country but I think this car will stay here. That also now means I need to whittle down my belongings to 3 suitcases instead of 4 large totes and 2 suitcases. It’s easier to carry more things when you think 1/2 the items are going to cross over with the car.

My route started in Orange County and I made stops in Tucson, Ft. Stockton, San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Tallahassee before I arrived in Charleston. I played tourist for a day in San Antonio and stayed along the Riverwalk. I had never been to San Antonio and I wanted to break up my daily driving. It was also just about 1/2 way through my journey and I was ready to take a break. There were a decent amount of other tourists but I can’t recall seeing anyone not wearing a mask. The Alamo was very educational and well preserved. The restaurants had outdoor only dining and the tables were still distanced. I traveled along interstate 10 most of the route until I reached Jacksonville, where I connected to interstate 95 which brought me up to Charleston. There was the typical city traffic in San Antonio and really bad traffic on my way in to Baton Rouge. Didn’t help that I arrived right around your typical rush our time of 5pm. The only negative weather I had was the first couple of hours when I left home during an unusual storm through Southern California. The rest of the way was pretty much blue skies. It reached 70 in San Antonio.

I arrived in Charleston on Friday, the 29th. Charleston is a great food town. The seafood here is fantastic. I always think it’s funny that I lived a few miles from the beach in Orange County but never thought the seafood was exceptional. It does seem that way to me here. If you are ever in Charleston, check out The Ordinary, which is anything but. The weather here has been in the 50’s. It is February after all. Last time I was here in August 2018, it was in the 90’s with humidity to match. I prefer the weather this time around.

I’ve bought my plane ticket for the 28th and will need to get a negative PCR test a few days before the flight. If all goes well I should be all cozy in the Algarve by March. Hope to communicate with you after that. Sempre viajar – Always Travel – Voyage Toujours.

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